“ Brand: Kathy Van Zeeland / Style: Standard / Wheels: 2 „
~Whats so great about Kathy Van Zeeland? ~
For those who like to travel in style with funky and stylish luggage to match their mood, the Kathy Van Zeeland Travel Ware range might be something to consider. I was first introduced to the Kathy Van Zeeland brand when I came across the amazing range of handbags produced by the company. I was very taken with what I saw and soon fell rather madly for a very blingy pewter metallic Kathy Van Zeeland Handbag, that was my almost constant companion for a whole summer.
I found that I liked the look, feel, style and quality of that first handbag very much, so much so that I went on to buy a number of other handbags from the same designer (well who could resist them!). All my Kathy Van Zeeland bags have lasted extremely well and I have been more than pleased with how they have performed even after prolonged periods of use and abuse. When I was out shopping one day an amazing looking suitcase caught my eye and I knew in an instant that it was a Kathy Van Zeeland design.
I was so thrilled that I had found it, as at the time I had no idea that the Kathy Van Zeeland range included travel ware. Even though I wasn't looking to buy a new suitcase at the time, I couldn't resist purchasing one and I have since gone on to build up a lovely set of matching and co ordinating travel bags, suitcases and holdalls from the range. As the quality and over all look of these has been very good I felt it was certainly worth suggesting them as products for the Dooyoo database. I feel that now my head has been turned by the range of gorgeous Kathy Van Zeeland Travel Ware, I can never go back to boring and functional black nylon suitcases. I adore my luggage set and it really makes for a stunning looking way for me to pack my things and transport them when travelling.
~A snippet about Kathy and her company!~
Kathy Van Zeeland founded her company in 2004 and her aim was to provide fashionable and well made handbags at a fair price, so that women would have something a little different to choose from that was not only bang on trend, but also gave a highly individual feel. I certainly agree about the range being an ever changing and up to date one, that adds new products each season for us all to drool over. I know I love to see whats new and funky within the product range and then challenge myself to find it for less than it ought to be.
The Kathy Van Zeeland ethos is to allow us to spoil ourselves (very thoughtful of her!) with her well made creations that will create a fashionable and confident look when we are out and about. What began with her initial range of handbags continued with watches, jewellery, clothing and of course travel ware being added to the product range. The pricing for the products was aimed at the mid range buyer and it allowed women to by a number of handbags and other products without feeling too guilty about how much they had spent of their gleaming new stash of goodies.
The product range is marketed towards women of all ages and aims to provide a feel good factor with every design that is backed up by a quality feel and finish. In the USA the brand is sold in major stores such as Macys, Dillards, Boscovs, Bon Ton and Belk, with that last store not being one I am familiar with at all! In the UK Zappos, QVC, Amazon UK, eBags, TK Maxx and a number of other retailers stock Kathy Van Zeeland products. I have also found that Amazon USA and Ebay can be a good source for finding that very bag, suitcase, accessory etc from the range that you really MUST have and cannot live without, They can also help with completing a luggage set when you have missed out that one piece that will complete your look and make your holiday set complete.
~ What a fabby suitcase! Its not Kathys, now its mine!~
Firstly I have to say that the piccy displayed here is the red version of my Kathy Van Zeeland Pebble Beach 21inch Upright Suitcase, the one I turned down. I have seen the red version in the flesh, touched it, cooed over it, almost bought it....almost. This means that I can honestly say its lush, I liked it very much and was very and I do mean very tempted buy it. The red tone is just right its neither too deep or too bright and it has a slightly toned down light cherry wine colour way to it that is very attractive and smart all at the same time. I would have loved to have been able to get the set in the red option as well as the colour I settled on. In the end I had to resist from buying it, reminding myself that the colour I picked was more stylish and had a less is more feel to it.
The colour that my Kathy Van Zeeland Pebble Beach 21inch Upright Suitcase came in is very chic on the outside and a little naughty but nice on the inside. If I were to compare my suitcase to a woman it would have to be a touch of the Audrey Hepburn finesse in her fetching but classy LBD (little black dress lads!) on the outside, with just a hint of the avant garde and in your face Lady Gaga, not afraid to stand out from the crowd yet confident enough to carry it off without looking a total numpty (well apart from the recent outfit that looked like raw meat and several other faux pas of course!) on the secret inside. To put it another way, this suitcase is a mix of classy black Chanel with some added bling on the outside and full blown retro Soap & Glory in all its joyus and vivid brightness on the inside.
~Tell me more, tell me more! ~
Ok so you now know this is more than just a boring old suitcase and you may want to know just what is so very special about it. From the very moment I set eyes on it it spoke to me and said BUY ME, well the luggage label did say 'Take Me'... 'I'm Yours!', so what other option was there. From the tip of its well made and sculpted handle that can be pulled out for ease of use and put away with a quick click and push action, to the bottom of its well hidden yet very usable set of rear wheels ,which allow me to take my case with me over a variety of surfaces with no fuss or bother... my Kathy Van Zeeland Pebble Beach 21inch Upright Suitcase is a classy little number. The finish and detailing on the suitcase is really good and there have been no problems with the zips, the stitching, the outer or inner materials, the bling, the handle, the wheels, etc.
Everything and I do mean everything has remained as new and lush as it was when I got my case. It has been packed and unpacked a good number of times and it never complains or lets me down. Each and every time I have used the case I have been happy to have had it at my disposal and been proud to be seen checking in with my blingy crossover Audrey, Gaga, Chanel, S&G wonder. The outer casing is made from thick PVC material that is made to look like glorious glazed black patent moc croc and it has not scuffed or lost its glossy shine at all. The patterned effect is very good, not too over the top at all and the texture which is part and parcel of the design is light and not in any way offensive. You can feel the textured pattern if you run your hands along it and it speaks up and says ' don't I look expensive'. Its very easy to clean and will look perfect with just a quick dust down and a wipe with a lightly damped cloth, it may look high maintenance, yet in reality it is very easy to take care of.
~The devil is in the detail!~
In terms of what the case provides there is plenty of well thought out detailing to it, which I find works very well. The zips on the case are very strong, do not catch and never bulge even when the case is jam packed. They are of a very nice quality, in a chromed silver toned finish and the parts that you grip onto in order to zip up the case are in the signature telephone shaped motif that Kathy Van Zeeland very often favours along with crowns and fleur de lys on her bags and designs. These are weighty, feel expensive and well made and add a nice touch to the over all look of the case. The case has not one but 2 main zips, with one being a general use zip for closing the case and the other being the zip used when you have been rather naughty and over filled the case and need to expand its capacity a little more. The expander zip has the same quality feel and works well to provide a good 3 inches of extra height and space within the suitcase.
The front of the case has a generous two part front pocket which is also zipped and this takes up 2/3 of the front section of the suitcase. The top part zips totally flat when its empty and can expand to a little over 1 1/2 inches when its filled, the main part has its own zipper and can provide a further storage area which is even larger than the top compartment. I find these to be very useful for those last minute items that you ought to have packed but forgot about until the rest of the case was packed and stacked to the brim. The inside of the case is a sight for sore eyes and is such a contrast from the sleek black exterior. It is furnished in a vivid pink shade that reminds me of the Soap & Glory brands use of the same colour. It looks amazingly good next to the jet black exterior and gives the case a funky and modern twist. The lining looks lovely in this hot pink tone and there are elasticated straps inside which are there to hold the contents as firmly in place in transit as when you have packed it. The top of the lid inside has a mesh section which zips open and closed and allows you to pack all kinds of items safely and securely under the netting which I feel is very useful to have.
~ Finer points!~
The look and feel of the suitcase is funky, stylish and modern. The signature Kathy Van Zeeland heart and crown logo is set into the centre front of the case. It sits within its own silver chrome oval and has the Kathy Van Zeeland name running across the middle of it. There are small studs which look like diamante crystals set into the silver chrome logo and the whole look is really special. The front corner sections of the case are reinforced for added strength and have individual small studed details on which add to the over all look. I feel all this sets the case apart from plainer rivals and truly makes it stand out. I recall when I bought my case and had to wheel it home from the shops, that as I walked the case drew many admiring glances and quite a few oohs and ahhs and squeals of 'wow look at that' from other Kathy Van Zeeland fans ( a few of whom wanted to know where I purchased it from). I knew then that I had made a good choice and I have enjoyed owning and using my KVZ moc croc case ever since.
The quality of the materials used to make up the suitcase are very good. I like the addition of the vivid pink suitcase label which exclaims' Take Me' set within a crown shaped tag, its very handy for writing in your details and its securely fastened on so that it won't get lost. The silver metal and black matt plastic topped handle which I can flip up or down, takes up no room at all on the outside when its safely tucked away. When its in use its very sturdy, well angled and is at a good height for me to grip the handle and maneuver the case where ever I need it to go. If needing to stash the case away in a car boot or a cupboard after use, there is a simple but very strong and easy to use moc croc black toned handle which has silver metal fastenings keeping it in place. The handle is easy to grip and is just the right thickness to allow you to slip your hand under it and pick up the case. The small hidden wheels at the bottom rear of the case roll with ease and being plastic they will not rust or begin to squeak if they are rolling along in wet weather. Being plastic they are of course easy to wipe clean if they become dirty.
~Whisper the price and rate the product~
Having waffled on about how well the case is made, how out standingly different it is etc, the price of course is bound to reflect that fact that this is a gem of a suitcase with a little more to it than your bog standard product. I am happy to say that with a little wise shopping around you can sometimes pick up these smaller Kathy Van Zeeland suitcases for as little as £59.99/ £69.99, although I have seen them on sale for closer to £119.99 in this size (which is more realistic). I have to say that with this being a 21 inch suitcase its not going to fit 2 weeks worth of holiday clobber inside it, unless you spend your whole trip in a bikini and matching wrap, which is nice in warmer climbs but rather impractical if you are planning a 2 week trip to the norwegian fjords.... I hear they are wonderful at this time of year.
The case IS compact, small may be beautiful but it won't be enough to hold everything you might want on longer trips away. For those intimate weekends away for two it ought to be fine with a couple of outfits each, shoes to match, night wear/ pjs, hair straighteners, dryer, smalls, a bath towel etc. For longer trips you will need to consider one of the larger cases from the range, which are equally as gorgeous and durable but will set you back a few more pennies that this one will. I feel that as a weekend case, when used with some of the matching tote or flight bags from the range, this makes a very usable and stylish suitcase that won't let you down in terms of looks and stability. Not only does the Kathy Van Zeeland Pebble Beach 21 inch Upright Suitcase look fantastic, it performs well too and as such I feel it has to be a 5 star product that I would say should last a very long time indeed.